2014 Fantasy Baseball: Weekend Starting Pitcher Streamers
Below I’ve listed several pitchers owned in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues who are scheduled to start sometime this weekend. These guys are widely available to stream and offer some upside for these starts.
Friday, July 18
Nathan Eovaldi vs. San Francisco – Eovaldi has seen his strikeout rate decrease every month this season, but his FIPs, by month, are: 2.20, 5.02, 3.21, 3.22. So without an even decent strikeout rate lately he’s pitched fairly well even though his ERA doesn’t show it. But he put together back to back quality starts to end the first half, and his start today is against the fifth worst offense against righties by wOBA.
Jorge De La Rosa at Pittsburgh – De La Rosa also ended the first half strong with a six-inning one-run outing and a six-inning two-run outing. He’s not flashy, but sports a 52 percent ground ball rate with a good infield defense behind him. Pittsburgh ranks 22nd against lefties in wOBA, and it has the third worst Isolated Power mark against southpaws.
Clay Buchholz vs. Kansas City – Buchholz has alternated good-bad starts in his last four, but in those starts he’s struck out 23 and walked one. The Royals rank 18th in offense against righties, but are dead last in Isolated Power against them.
Saturday, July 19
Dallas Keuchel at Chicago White Sox – Keuchel has pitched four straight bad starts after such a dominant stretch. His strikeouts and walks have worsened in those four starts, but the main culprit seems to be his average allowed on balls in play. That number sits at .393 after having a BABIP no worse than .333 in any of the first three months of the season. His ground ball and home run rates are still great in this stretch, and his FIP and xFIP are still right in line with his ERA. The White Sox have the third worst wOBA against lefties and the fourth highest strikeout rate against them.
Danny Duffy at Boston – In his last eight starts Duffy’s lowered his ERA from 3.57 to 2.76 while striking out 43 in 49.1 innings with more than 3.5 strikeouts for every walk. Even in Duffy’s worst start in that stretch he allowed four runs in six innings, striking out six with no walks. Boston is only mediocre in wOBA and Isolated Power against lefties.
Wade Miley vs. Chicago Cubs – The lefty has three straight starts of at least 6.2 innings and no more than two earned runs, and in six of his last 10 starts he’s struck out at least eight batters. The increase in strikeouts is due to an increase in slider usage, up to 25 percent this season. He’s recorded 46 strikeouts with his slider – the most of any pitch – despite it being just his third most used pitch. The Cubs hit lefties rather well, but their 25 percent strikeout rate is the worst in the Majors against lefties.
Sunday, July 20
Kevin Gausman at Oakland – This is a tough matchup for the young righty, but in 86 big-league innings he has a 3.62 xFIP as well as five good starts in seven outings this season. You should probably only start Gausman in really deep mixed or AL-Only leagues as he hasn’t gone too deep in his starts and the A’s are the seventh best offense against righties.